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  • 335Tropical Plant Pathology 39 (4) July - August 2014

    Tropical Plant Pathology, vol. 39(4):335-341, 2014 Copyright by the Brazilian Phytopathological Society. www.sbfito.com.br

    Resistance in Capsicum spp. to anthracnose affected by different stages of fruit development during pre- and post- harvest Soraia A. M. Silva1, Rosana Rodrigues1, Leandro S.A. Gonçalves2, Cláudia P. Sudré1, Cíntia S. Bento1, Margarida G. F. Carmo3 & Artur M. Medeiros1

    1Laboratório de Melhoramento Genético Vegetal, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro 28013-602, Brazil; 2Departamento de Agronomia, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Paraná 86051-990, Brazil. 3Departamento de Fitotecnia, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropédica, RJ, Brazil

    Author for correspondence: Rosana Rodrigues, e-mail: rosana@uenf.br

    SHORT COMMUNICATION

    ABSTRACT This study aimed to investigate the reaction of unripe and ripe fruits of Capsicum spp. accessions to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides

    during the pre- and post-harvest periods, and to identify sources of resistance for use in plant breeding programs. Thirty-seven Capsicum spp. accessions of the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro were evaluated. They were cultivated in a greenhouse and arranged in a completely randomized design with five replications. Twenty fruits from each accession were inoculated at two stages (unripe and ripe) in two different environments (fruits inoculated in the plant and detached fruit inoculated under laboratory conditions). The symptoms were assessed every 24 hours between the 1st and 8th days after inoculation. There were highly significant differences in the values of the area under the disease progress curve and in severity, considering all sources of individual variation and their interactions. Values of low and moderate correlation were observed for inoculation of unripe and ripe fruit in both environments. These results indicate the existence of distinct genes responsible for resistance at different stages of fruit development. Complete lack of symptoms was registered only for accessions UENF 1718 and UENF 1797 (C. baccatum var. pendulum). Key words: Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, chili pepper, plant breeding, plant disease.

    Anthracnose causes extensive losses in plants of the genus Capsicum before and after harvest, especially in hot and humid climates (Pereira et al., 2011; Park et al., 2012). The disease is considered of complex etiology since it can be caused by different species of Colletotrichum, including C. acutatum J.H. Simmonds, C. capsici (Syd.) E. J. Butler & Bisby, C. coccodes (Wallr.) S. Hughes and C. gloeosporioides Penz (Than et al., 2008a; Mahasuk et al., 2009b; Mongkolporn et al., 2010; Park et al., 2012). These species cause disease in different organs of Capsicum plants. For example, C. acutatum and C. gloeosporioides infect pepper fruits at all stages of development, but they generally do not infect leaves or stems, which in turn are infected by C. coccodes (Kim et al., 2004). Depressed circular or angular lesions, with concentric rings of moist acervuli that produce masses of pink or orange conidia are typical symptoms in fruit (Than et al., 2008b).

    Although many strategies are proposed to control anthracnose in Capsicum, such as the use of pathogen-free seeds, crop rotation with non-host species, elimination of alternative hosts and crop debris, chemical fungicide application, and biological control, the use of resistant cultivars is considered the most effective control method

    (Than et al., 2008b; Park et al., 2012), since it not only reduces losses, but also prevents costs with the use of chemicals and labor in disease control (Agrios, 2005).

    Several breeding programs have been developed aimed at identifying and incorporating resistance genes in cultivars of sweet and chili pepper (Pakdeevaraporn et al., 2005; Yoon & Park 2005; Kim et al., 2008; Pereira et al., 2011). Sources of resistance have been identified in pepper accessions, including accession PBC932 in Capsicum chinense, resistant to Colletotrichum capsici, and Capsicum baccatum resistant to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Babu et al., 2011). Knowledge of inheritance of resistance to anthracnose in Capsicum is essential for the success of breeding programs, because it helps breeders to select the best breeding methods for obtaining resistant cultivars.

    However, resistance inheritance may vary according to Colletotrichum. For example, there are reports indicating that resistance to C. capsici is controlled by a dominant gene (Lin et al., 2002), and to C. dematium by a partially dominant gene (Park et al., 1990b). For resistance to C. gloeosporioides, inheritance was described as overdominant or partially dominant (Park et al., 1990a). The presence of a recessive gene controlling anthracnose resistance has also

  • Tropical Plant Pathology 39 (4) July - August 2014336

    S.A.M. Silva et al.

    been described in Capsicum chinense (Pakdeevaraporn et al., 2005). Voorrips et al. (2004) used quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and identified a highly significant main QTL with major effect on three evaluated traits (frequency of infection, lesion true diameter and overall diameter of lesion) after the inoculation of C. gloeosporioides in plants from crosses between Capsicum annuum and C. chinense. In this study, tests to assess resistance were performed only in ripe fruit.

    Pathogenicity studies showed different reactions when the same isolate was inoculated into ripe and unripe fruits of a pepper genotype (Kim et al., 1999; Than et al., 2008b). Some Colletotrichum isolates were pathogenic to unripe fruit of resistant genotypes ‘PBC932’ (C. chinense), ‘PBC80’ and ‘PBC81’ (C. baccatum), but they were not pathogenic to red fruit of those genotypes, which suggests that different resistance genes are expressed at different stages of fruit maturity (Taylor et al., 2007). A similar result was observed by Mahasuk et al. (2009a), who studied the inheritance of resistance to C. capsici at different stages of fruit ripening (unripe and ripe) from crosses between Capsicum annuum (susceptible) and Capsicum chinense (resistant). They verified the involvement of two different genes responsible for resistance in ripe and unripe fruit, suggesting that the change in fruit maturation may have triggered the expression of different genes at different stages.

    The present study aimed to investigate the reaction of unripe and ripe fruit from accessions of Capsicum spp. to Colletotrichum gloeosporioides (Penz.) during the pre- and post-harvest season, and to identify possible sources of resistance for use in plant breeding programs.

    Thirty-seven accessions of Capsicum spp. from the germplasm collection of the Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro (UENF) were assessed. These accessions were previously characterized by Sudré et al. (2005) and Bento et al. (2007) according to morphological and agronomic descriptors; and by Bento et al. (2009), for resistance to Pepper yellow mosaic virus (PepYMV; genus Potyvirus, family Potyviridae). The accessions were sown in trays of 128 cells with organic-vegetable substrate. After the emergence of two pairs of true leaves, the seedlings were individually transferred to plastic pots containing a mixture of soil and substrate (2:1 ratio) and grown in a greenhouse at UENF, located in Campos dos Goytacazes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The practices recommended for the crop were carried out and the plants were arranged in a completely randomized design with five replications.

    An isolate of C. gloeosporioides obtained from sweet pepper (isolated in 1984 and identified by code MMBF 04/84) was donated by Dr. Christiane C. Aparecido from the “Mario Barreto Figueiredo” fungal collection at Instituto Biológico, São Paulo, Brazil. The isolate was previously tested in fruit from the accession UENF 1616 (C. baccatum var. pendulum) for confirmation of virulence. For inoculum preparation, the isolate was grown on PDA medium, pH

    7.0 and incubated in the dark at 25ºC until the formation of colonies (between seven and ten days). The spore suspension was prepared minutes before each inoculation at a concentration of 1 x 106 conidia/mL, adjusted by counting in a Neubauer chamber. The releasing of conidia in water was done with the aid of a fine brush.

    Twenty fruit of each accession were inoculated at two developmental stages (unripe and ripe). The unripe and ripe fruit were inoculated in two different environments, which resulted in four combinations: unripe fruit inoculated in the plant (UFP); unripe fruit detached and inoculated under laboratory conditions (UFL); ripe fruit inoculated in the plant (RFP); and ripe fruit detached and inoculated under laboratory conditions (RFL). In fruit inoculated and maintained in the plant, the inoculation was carried out with the aid of micropipettes; 20 µL of the conidia suspension were inoculated in the pericarp, in the center of the fruit. Fruit harvested and transported to the laboratory for inoculation were sterilized with 1% (w/v) sodium hypochlorite for 5 min and washed three times in sterile deionized water. The fruits were drilled in the pericarp central region using a micropipette tip before inoculation and were incubated at 28ºC in the dark and 100% RH for 24 h and then under a 12/12 light/dark cycle with 70-80% RH.

    Severity of anthracnose on fruit was evaluated every 24 hours, between the 1st and 8th days after inoculation, by the adapted scale proposed by Montri et al. (

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